Note: I'm cross-posting this from the Windows 7 support forum because I am not sure which one it belongs in.
Ok, so let me explain my problem. Whenever I try to watch an HD video, be it streaming online or on my hard drive the video lags/stutters (obviously due to CPU use). In the task manager I notice my vlc player spiking in its CPU number (if I am playing a video off the hard drive, if it's online than Firefox is the process to spike) and the overall usage number under the performance tab quickly jumps up to 90-100% as well. This does not happen with SD videos, including streaming off of Youtube so I do not think it is something like a flash issue.
This problem also seems to be affecting my ability to play video games as the same problem occurs whenever I start a game up.
This laptop is a few years old now but I was able to flawlessly run HD video and new games like Skyrim and Batman: Arkham City in the past. The CPU usage did not spike and my computer did not "lag" (drop frames). I have been dealing with this problem for a few months now but I am not really sure what caused it. I don't really want to go out and just buy a new computer unless I absolutely have to, especially since this one was only purchased in 2010. I know that is already a while but considering it used to be capable of these things I am hopeful that there is a way to get it back to how it was.
So here are my specs:
Windows 7 Home Premium, Service Pack 1 (64-Bit)
Intel Core 2 Duo CPU P8700 2.53 GHz
4.00 GB RAM
Nvidia GTX 260M (Driver Version 306.02)
I am using Avast! Free Anti-Virus. I have also ran CCleaner, Malwarebytes, defragged my drive, and used the Windows chkdsk utility in an attempt to fix the problem, to no avail. I've also used a can of compressed air to clean the vents.
Any help you may be able to lend me is greatly appreciated.